noiseredux vs.

Posted on Feb 25th 2011 at 01:32:59 AM by (noiseredux)
Posted under PlayStation 2




Shadow Of The Colossus has always been one of those games that I planned on playing. But never did. Sort of like those big classic books that you plan to read someday, but their size scares you off -- and there's always the possibility that you'll be let down after years of hearing how classic it is. Well, I finally decided it was time to cross this one off my list. And to sort of motive me to do so, I kept a log of my playing. I did so in the form of a forum thread at http://Racketboy.com, but I've taken the liberty of editing my impressions together here (sans conversations) to chronicle my journey.

Lots of swearing and spoilers after the break!










January 19, 2011

Playing Shadow Of The Colossus for the first time ...and it really is amazing as I've always heard. It took me about 15 mins to actually find the first Colossus. But I guess that's part of the game right? Me, getting used to being alone in this vast world?

At any rate, the first time I saw him, it was one of those "holy shit!" moments. Really incredible.

I can easily grab on the back of his leg and stab him to bring him to his knee. But after that he just destroys me. I've continued like five times. Stumped on how to climb him further.

...

Anyway, I gather I need to get up to the first one's head -- as I couldn't seem to hit it with the bow and arrow. So I'm guessing I need to find a way up him that ISN'T his back left leg now. I was able to grab onto his club at one point, but couldn't figure out what to do from there.



January 20, 2011

oh man I just made it all the way up to the top of the first one's head. I pulled my sword back to make a mighty strike... and lost my grip. At least now I know what I'm doing.

...

First Colussus is dead.





January 21, 2011

2nd Colossus is dead.

I'm really going to stick to the "no guide" thing because it's making the game so much better. It took me a WHILE to figure out what to do with the second one, but it just made me feel so triumphant when I watched him go down.




January 31, 2011

I just beat the 3rd Colossus. It took me way too long. First I couldn't find him. Then it took me like a dozen tries to make that big jump high above the water to reach him. Admittedly, by then I did check GameFAQs to figure out how to break his bracelet, since I couldn't figure out how to get on top of him. All in all it was an epic battle, and I'm glad it's over.

...

I'm playing really slowly. A bit here a bit there. Between other games. BUT I just beat the 4th Colossus. SO MUCH EASIER than the 3rd once you figure out how to get on him!

...

I just beat the 5th (the flying one). By far the scariest one so far. Not THAT hard once you're on him. Did take me a couple of tries though as I got dropped twice, which is really frustrating to figure out where you are in the water. At any rate. Wow. This game just keeps dragging me further and further in, but I know it's getting closer and closer to the end.




February 1, 2011

just beat #6 (the bearded one). Super easy actually. I had a tougher time finding him than killing him.

...

I just beat the 7th Colossus (the electric eel). And with that, I am officially calling Shadow Of The Colossus one of my favorite games of all time. To think I spent so many years saying "I'll play it someday," almost entirely based on the notion that there was NO WAY it could be as good as everyone makes it out to be. This game is insane. It elicits a genuine reaction from me. I was actually SCARED when I realized there was something in the water with me. And what a battle! I honestly am just floored by the very experience of this creation.




February 2, 2011

the 8th Colossus is the first that I've actually walked away from mid-battle. I actually know what to do, but can't quite do it. He's the one that looks like a big anteater that climbs the Colosseum walls. Anyway, I'm just not fast enough. He keeps electrocuting me. Fucking jerk.


February 18, 2011

Eight Colossus is dead!!!!!!!!!!!

He was awful! Awful! By far the hardest one I've encountered. I found him so difficult that I actually took a break from the game and came back later. I even resorted to not only Gamefaqs, but youtube videos showing how to kill the damn thing. Of course in the video people were able to kill him in under 10 minutes. It took me 40 minutes!! But he's dead. Thank god. Now I can move on. Finally.

...

9th Colossus is dead! Took me an hour and a half to beat this sonofabitch, though admittedly it was probably an hour and twenty-nine minutes to get on him, and about a minute to kill him. Wow. I totally realized what I had to do almost immediately, but I found it really hard to successful convince him to hover right above a geyser. The strange thing is that the whole 90 minutes was spent on a single battle. Unlike the 8th Colossus who killed me a bunch of times in our 40 minutes together. I hope the 10th Colossus is a little easier than the last two. This is getting time consuming!

...

10th Colossus is dead! (The Sandworm). Took me a little while to figure out how to kill him. At first I thought I had to stay on rocks or something. Once I figured out how to get him to stick his face out so I could shoot his eye and then get on him, he was really super easy to kill.




February 19, 2011

11th Colossus is dead. This one was different than the others... when you show him fire he backs away from you in fear. It actually made me feel kind of bad killing him.




February 20, 2011

#12 is dead! I don't know if I'd say he was the hardest one, but he took me the longest (an hour and forty-five minutes!) to beat. First of all I should say that he literally scared me. I have a real fear of drowning "IRL" as they say. So the two fights that have taken place in water have really freaked me out. Anyway, this fight was insane. The cut-scene where he reveals himself just had me in awe. But then I died a half dozen times because he'd just shoot me so fast. Eventually I figured I was going to have to cheat and peek at GameFAQs, which told me how get him to duck down enough so that I could jump on his face. Then I died another half dozen times attempting that before I discovered you could actually just swim around to his back to climb up on his head. Once there I was mostly puzzled again and had to ultimately resort to youtube videos to figure out the rest. It was a great battle and I loved this ones' design, though I'm honestly not sure how anyone was able to figure this one out without a bit of help!

...

13th Colossus is dead... and it made me feel like shit. This was the giant flying sandworm. It was this huge graceful creature. It never once tried to attack me. So I just felt like a hunter killing this impressive beast that did nothing to me.




February 22, 2011

#14 is dead! This was the bull-like one that would charge you and you had to get him to ram into stuff... I found him really tough. Or at least I found the method tough. I admit that I knew enough to keep jumping from platform to platform to avoid him, but I had to get some youtube help to figure out what the point of it was. I guess the puzzle aspect of this one just seemed challenging to me. But Once his weak point was revealed, it was a good and fun battle between us.

...

15th Colossus is dead! I found him really impressive looking, but actually not that hard. In fact he was sort of a breeze compared to a few recent ones. Really the only difficult part was figuring out how to make him drop his club. But a good and fun battle. Well. I guess I've really made it this far...

...

I just spent over an hour on Colossus #16, but haven't beaten him. I'm just too tired tonight to finish. I can make it from his back up his arm but I think I need to jump to his upper body next and can't seem to make it. He brings his hand toward his face, but the jump seems too far. I keep plummeting back down to the bottom. Ah well maybe tomorrow.

Seeing Agro die was devastating.




February 23, 2011

a few hours ago, I beat the game.

The final battle was "epic" as they say. And really difficult. And yet, I think when it was over I was kind of in disbelief that the whole thing was over. I'm not really sure how to get all my thoughts in order, so I won't bother trying.

Shadow Of The Colossus is officially way near the top of my list of best games ever. I'm really really glad I played through it all finally.

The ending was brutal at first. The fact that I had helped evil... though I felt that around the time I killed that flying worm thing. And then not witnessing the girl awake. It was all a bit crazy.

One of the best parts of the ending was that you were given control over the Colossus that you became. But even as I knew I had control... I knew it was a hopeless battle. And there I felt a ton of empathy for the 16 creatures I had killed. It was all very Albatross-around-my-neck style.

I'm not sure I understood why I turned into a baby. I guess rebirth was the idea?

At any rate... this game will stick with me for a long time. My wife told me she was glad I was done with it, because just walking by the screen and seeing me kill those giants made her feel sad. She wasn't even playing it and she felt the melancholy. I think that was the best thing about this game. It often made me feel anxious, scared, and really really bad about what I was doing. How many games can pull that off? Not many that I've encountered so far anyway.

It's also awesome that a Hard Mode was unlocked. Normally I could give a fuck about such things, but this is a game I will totally want to play again. Why not have a new challenge. Maybe I'll give it a year or so and delve back in.

Oh and the score. The score is so beautiful. It's probably best that it was used sparingly. But I tell you that score will haunt me. I was in GameStop the other day and a commercial came on one of their monitors advertising the upcoming PS3 remake and as soon as I heard the music my ears perked up, and I felt heroic. I must find the soundtrack.

I know this is all so scatter-brained, but bottom-line: This game is a masterpiece. And I feel this from my own experience now. For which I am proud.


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Comments
 
This is high on my list of PS2 games to get Smiley
 
I'll need to pick up Ico first, but I may just start playing through it as my next game just from reading your thoughts here. I love how your blog was just a stream-of-consciousness dump, as it provides your raw thoughts and emotions as they occurred.

Did the framerate pull you out of the game or cause any frustrations?
 
@Shadow Kisuragi: honestly, there was only a small handful of times where I felt at all pulled out due to say a stray wonky effect. And a few moments where I got frustrated with the camera. I really didn't have any of these issues though until I was very deep into the game, probably toward the last few hours. Perhaps just being more intimate with the surroundings made me more aware of these things? At any rate, there were far more times where I said to myself "HOW did they pull THIS off on a PS2?" I mean really. Talk about impressive.
 
I recommend and second a lot of games, but this is at the top.  It will likely always remain in the top three or so of my favorite media products, period.  It has my favorite ending of any fictional story.  A good friend imported the soundtrack for me, and I play it often when I am writing and want to feel emotionally tied to the scenario I'm working on.  And for all the detail that is brought into developing some virtual universes, I've never played a game with a more cohesive world than this.  To sum up my thoughts:

I've never felt stronger emotion while playing a game, and I can't think of a higher recommendation.

@noiseredux:  The infant at the end of the game is the storyline tie to Ico, as that game brings the whole story full circle.  And thanks for this entry.  So much has been written about this game, and I've heard plenty of people say they need to get around to playing it, but it still gets criminally overlooked as a 'someday...' part of the backlog.

Well, with the new PS3 HD updates to this and Ico that reportedly fix the frame rate issues, everyone has the perfect excuse to dive into these masterpieces.

 
@slackur: I actually read about the Ico-connection later after posting this (the horns are the hint, eh?). Anyway, I certainly plan to tackle Ico soon. Just have to find it at a decent price first. Smiley

also, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. My feeling was that enough had been written about the game for me to really add anything new. So I figured just keeping a log of my thoughts as I progressed would be interesting enough. At least it serves as a nice time capsule for myself.
 
@Link41: I found it for a decent price not too long ago as well Tongue
 
Wow, great writeup.  I really liked the format, which made it feel fresh (not the same old recitation of facts, that is).  I've known about the end for a while (I'm a prolific podcast listener), but this game is right at the top of my "must-play-when-I-graduate-college-or-get-free-time" list.  Your article really makes me want to play this.

Arg!  Does anyone have some free time to spare so I can play this game?  I will accept any denominations!

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